A friend recently gave me a stimulating book titled 642 Tiny Things To Write About by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.  The book poses a subject and offers a space in the book for me to write about that subject.  I decided to share a selection here.

The book asks me to write about a time I broke:

  • A bone
  • A heart
  • The law
  • A promise

Here we go with my replies.

A Time I Broke a Bone

I’ve only ever broken two bones:  my left fibula while skiing and ribs taking a fall.  Breaking a fibula, which is the small bone in the leg below the knee, is pretty boring.  Break a rib is far more interesting.

How it happened. I was knowingly walking through a very slippery area but paid no attention since occasionally I’m an idiot.  Next thing I knew my feet were above my head and I landed hard on my side. I heard crunches and cracks like a shattering.  Then the pain.  (And no Bill, if you are reading this, I was not drinking.)

I got up and sat down in a chair breathing heavy seeing if it would pass.  It did not pass.  It got worse.  A lot worse.

Treatment and recovery.  The pain merited a trip to the hospital. Barely any wait.  That’s rare for an ER.

Doctor confirmed two broken ribs on my left side. I told him I was worried it punctured my heart.  Doctor confirmed it did not puncture my heart.  I asked if he saw that in the x-ray and he said, “No.  But if your heart was punctured you would not be talking to me.  You would be dead.”  Oh.

Me:  “Doctor I think my broken rib ruptured my heart.”

Doctor gave Vicodin for the pain and a paper with specific instructions.  Two instructions stood out:

  • Take a Vicodin, wait 30 minutes, then repeated deep breaths leading to gentle coughing.  Do this multiple times a day.  If you do not cough enough you can get pneumonia.  Coughing even with Vicodin was not fun.
  • Take a stool softener and a laxative daily for the next 3 or 4 weeks.  Wasn’t sure what this was all about – my GI system was fine.  Until the first time I needed to leave a souvenir for the waste water system.  OMG that hurt (and Vicodin is constipating).  I then understood the role of the stool softener and laxative.  Prune juice became an additional friend.

I was warned the next 3 or 4 weeks would suck.  They did.

A Time I Broke a Heart

Like I wrote above, I thought I broke my own heart with a broken rib.  But doctor disagreed.

My cat makes me feel like I break her heart every morning when I leave for work, but she makes me feel like I put it back together again every afternoon when I arrive home from work.

Beyond that, I really do not know of any hearts I broke.  I suppose an amateur psychologist could have a field day with the previous sentence.

A Time I Broke the Law

Do you really think I am going to write about this subject on a public blog site?  Nope.

A Time I Broke a Promise

I have broken plenty of promises in my past.  I rarely promise anything anymore.  Life moves to quick for promises.

Why would I break a promise?  Sometimes because I learn more; sometimes because a situation changes; occasionally because I was “too nice” to say no.

One example is that I promised a woman I would support a cause she was heavily involved in around expanding recreational opportunities in a community.  Based on what she told me, it all sounded great.  But then I dug in and found all the things she did not tell me, including the real costs, lack of existing funds, and no achievable plan for fundraising.  I could not support it.  I had no interest in taking on what would be a fundraising initiative that was not even well thought out.  She got really pissed off by the withdrawal of my “promise” of active support.  Then she moved away 6 months later.  She was sort of a bitch.  Bye.

Also there was the time I promised someone I would go to an amusement park with them, but it just so happened that I broke a couple ribs the week before.

Anyone else want to answer these four questions?